'Starsky and Hutch' TV Reboot in the Works With James Gunn

The 'Guardians of the Galaxy' scribe will pen the script for the cop show as broadcast networks continue to look to IP for their next hits.
Photofest; Jason Merritt/Getty Images
'Starsky & Hutch'; James Gunn (inset)

Reboots are showing no signs of slowing as TV development season gets underway.

Sony Pictures Television Studios is prepping a reboot of 1970s cop show Starsky and HutchGuardians of the Galaxy screenwriter-director James Gunn is set to pen the script and potentially direct the project (pending his availability). Sony Pictures Television Studios is shopping the effort, with multiple bidders among broadcast, cable and streaming services. The project is currently just a pitch and there is no script as of yet.

James Gunn will pen the script with his brother, Brian Gunn, and cousin, Mark Gunn. All three will executive produce alongside Sony-based Neal Moritz and his Original Film banner topper Pavun Shetty. The TV reboot is described as a character-driven hourlong procedural. 

Sony TV controls the TV rights to the IP and is the worldwide distributor for the original series. Warner Bros. Pictures controls the feature film rights. The new Starsky and Hutch has been in the works since last year when deals for everyone involved closed; it is only now being taken out to potential bidders. 

Starsky and Hutch first premiered in 1975 as a movie of the week on ABC. The series was created by William Blinn and produced by Aaron Spelling and Leonard Goldberg's Spelling-Goldberg Productions. Starring David Soul and Paul Michael Glaser, the show ran for four seasons and nearly 100 episodes. It was distributed by Columbia Pictures Television, which later became SPT.

This is not the first time the show about two Southern California police detectives — David Michael Starsky (Glaser) and Brooklyn transplant Kenneth "Hutch" Hutchinson (Soul) — has been rebooted. A feature film starring Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson was released in 2004 by Warner Bros. and Dimension Films. It grossed $170.2 million worldwide, with a screenplay by John O'Brien, Todd Phillips and Scot Armstrong.

For Moritz, meanwhile, the veteran film and TV producer is no stranger to reboots. His credits include the film-to-TV revival of Cruel Intentions (which was passed over at NBC); Fox's recent Prison Break revival; AMC's comic-to-screen drama Preacher; and TV-to-film-series 21 Jump Street and the Fast and the Furious franchise, among others. He next has CBS' reboot of S.W.A.T., which is set to launch in the fall. Moritz is repped by UTA.

For his part, Gunn is already attached to pen and direct the third Guardians of the Galaxy feature after writing and helming the first two films in the Chris Pratt-fronted franchise. His screenplay credits include features Scooby-Doo (2002) as well as Dawn of the Dead (2004). Gunn is with UTA.

Reboots continue to remain in high demand as broadcast, cable and streaming outlets look for proven IP in a bid to cut through a cluttered scripted landscape that is quickly approaching 500 original series. Key to the remakes is having the original producers — in this case, Sony TV — involved in some capacity as more studios look to monetize their existing film libraries. This development season shows no signs of that trend slowing down as ABC is readying a live-action take on The Jetsons while NBC is adapting The Munsters and Miami Vice.

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